Anyone have experience with any of the Hed C2 wheelsets?

Jun 18, 2009
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Looking for a new wheelset for next season and am intrigued by the Hed C2 wheels (Ardennes, Bastogne).

Has anyone ridden these?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Hey richwagmn, I'm sure you're aware that HED. is in Minnesota. Do you live in the Twin Cities? The C2 based wheels is the smartest thing HED. has done in a while, and the Ardennes has been getting great reviews here. Best suggestion would be to go test ride a bike that might have a set on them. Go visit Jay Henderson at Hollywood Cycles in Bloomington.
 
richwagmn said:
Looking for a new wheelset for next season and am intrigued by the Hed C2 wheels (Ardennes, Bastogne).

Has anyone ridden these?
You may not want to hear this but for the $..$850 or $1050 and the resulting weight, and what these are. You 'may' be more pleased with a handbuilt set, 7900, Record or DT hubs. Kinlin rims, DT Comp, REV or Aerolight spokes, built specifically for you.

Better hubsets, same weight class, less $.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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HED Ardennes

I rode the Ardennes all season. I am very pleased with them. No regrets on that purchase.
 
Mar 4, 2009
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Actually, I didn't write that review; that one was from Chris Davidson. But having put plenty of miles on the Ardennes now myself, I definitely agree with his conclusions. The wider rim really does provide much better sidewall support to typical 23mm road tires and there's a very tangible positive effect on road feel and cornering.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Hey richwagmn, I'm sure you're aware that HED. is in Minnesota. Do you live in the Twin Cities? The C2 based wheels is the smartest thing HED. has done in a while, and the Ardennes has been getting great reviews here. Best suggestion would be to go test ride a bike that might have a set on them. Go visit Jay Henderson at Hollywood Cycles in Bloomington.
Yea, I live on the east side. Thanks for the tip on Hollywood Cycles. Somehow, I've never been to that shop.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Bustedknuckle said:
You may not want to hear this but for the $..$850 or $1050 and the resulting weight, and what these are. You 'may' be more pleased with a handbuilt set, 7900, Record or DT hubs. Kinlin rims, DT Comp, REV or Aerolight spokes, built specifically for you.

Better hubsets, same weight class, less $.
Sure. But you don't get the wider rim.

I was also looking at something like this:

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=8&description=Swiss+Threat+Front+Wheel&vendorCode=EXCEL&major=1&minor=24
 
richwagmn said:
Remember the 28h DT 1.1 rim is single eyelet. No big deal if tensioned correctly If the 32, make sure it's the double eyelet. 32h is the only double eyelet 1.1 rim, but they also make a single eyelet 32h. All others are single only. Rev spokes are a fine choice for the front but ask for brass nipples. Aluminum does nuthin' except have an adverse effect on reliability. Also 32 3 cross, not 2 cross.

I have built many DT hubs, DT spokes, DT 1.1 rims. Best rim in existence, IMO.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Just picked up a set...

I recently received a set of new Hed C2 Kermesse and I love them. For the price they are hard to beat. Very robust and light. They do feel very different and running at lower pressure is really nice. The reviews have been quite accurate in terms of describing the ride quality and handling in the corners. The build quality was perfect. I have built many wheels over the years and these are as good as I have ever seen.
 
Black Dog said:
I recently received a set of new Hed C2 Kermesse and I love them. For the price they are hard to beat. Very robust and light. They do feel very different and running at lower pressure is really nice. The reviews have been quite accurate in terms of describing the ride quality and handling in the corners. The build quality was perfect. I have built many wheels over the years and these are as good as I have ever seen.
Really glad you like them but as a 'wheelbuilder', easy to make a set that are very similar(except for the 23mm rim part) in terms of weight but with a better hubset, for less $. 6600 hubs, Kinlin rims, DT spokes...
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Bustedknuckle said:
Really glad you like them but as a 'wheelbuilder', easy to make a set that are very similar(except for the 23mm rim part) in terms of weight but with a better hubset, for less $. 6600 hubs, Kinlin rims, DT spokes...
You are correct about being able to build a wheel set of equal quality for a bit less. However, as you stated the 23mm rim is a HED exclusive and I really wanted to try it out. Paying $650 for the wheels was still good value all things considered (quality and weight (1570 grams) and no rider weight limit). The Hub quality and the smoothness of the bearings is surprisingly great. Durability of the hubs is the unanswered question.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Black Dog said:
Durability of the hubs is the unanswered question.
14 years ago I would've never recommended HED, just because of the poor quality of thier hubs, but lots has changed since then. The current HED hubs are great! No worries brother. Plus you get to try out the "wider is better" thing, which is starting to catch on like wildfire. Everybody's going wider, if they haven't yet, they will.
 
Black Dog said:
You are correct about being able to build a wheel set of equal quality for a bit less. However, as you stated the 23mm rim is a HED exclusive and I really wanted to try it out. Paying $650 for the wheels was still good value all things considered (quality and weight (1570 grams) and no rider weight limit). The Hub quality and the smoothness of the bearings is surprisingly great. Durability of the hubs is the unanswered question.
Always helps to get a $100 discount I guess.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Black Dog said:
You are correct about being able to build a wheel set of equal quality for a bit less. However, as you stated the 23mm rim is a HED exclusive and I really wanted to try it out. Paying $650 for the wheels was still good value all things considered (quality and weight (1570 grams) and no rider weight limit). The Hub quality and the smoothness of the bearings is surprisingly great. Durability of the hubs is the unanswered question.
Black Dog, you know I love you man, but you of all people should know that there's no such wheel with 'no rider weight limit'. Your Kermesse 28 rear/24 front are not going to be an ideal choice for someone who might be pushing 90kg. And you know there are more avid cyclists in the 80-90kg range that cannot ride low spoke count wheels, especially with shallower rims.
 
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Black Dog, you know I love you man, but you of all people should know that there's no such wheel with 'no rider weight limit'. Your Kermesse 28 rear/24 front are not going to be an ideal choice for someone who might be pushing 90kg. And you know there are more avid cyclists in the 80-90kg range that cannot ride low spoke count wheels, especially with shallower rims.

And lots of riders in the 70 kg range that can't either. Saving a couple hundred grams on a wheelset for bike and rider 'packages' that weigh 95,000 grams or so and 'may' sacrifice reliability...well, I just don't get it. But, your $, do whatever ya want with it. I'll stick to 36 hole, front and back, tubulars, weighing in at about 1800 grams thanks....
 
Mar 12, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Black Dog, you know I love you man, but you of all people should know that there's no such wheel with 'no rider weight limit'. Your Kermesse 28 rear/24 front are not going to be an ideal choice for someone who might be pushing 90kg. And you know there are more avid cyclists in the 80-90kg range that cannot ride low spoke count wheels, especially with shallower rims.
No harm taken at all. You are right, there is a real world weight limit on any set of wheels. However, when a set has a limit of 90kg then you know that it will be very delicate. I suspect that with the deeper rim and the spoke count that these wheels will be nearly as robust as a set of 32 hole open pros. The are laced 2 cross front and rear and have no fancy spoke attachments or nipples. At the end of the day I would still prefer to build my own wheels and would be happy with 32 spokes front and rear.

As for the weight, I agree, who cares. A couple of hundred grams makes no difference when compared to the bike+rider mass. All the marketing BS that says there is a difference ignores basic physics. And no one can "feel" the difference on a climb or while accelerating. It is not possible to discriminate a mass change of less than 1%. I would rather finish a ride a durable and "heavy" components than brag about weight (read: how much money I spend) on expensive crap that does not last.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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...also, you should know too that pro racers were on 36 hole/3x through most of the 70's, then some genius decided to heavily market the lowest spoke count you could get away with at the time to 32 hole, not that it was a bad thing for racing, for everyday riding it's a different story. Granted the materials are much better than back then, but all the same rules apply; rider weight, style, road conditions, etc. etc.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I think this is right, maybe James Huang can confirm this... Tom Boonen (82kg) rides 36 hole for Roubaix, and 32 hole for RvV, not HED's though, he rolls Ambrosio Nemesis/DT 240's/Sapim spokes, as do more than 50% of the peloton during the first couple weeks of Spring.

Those C2 series of HED wheels are really nice for what they are, I'd say the best buy from any of the major wheel mfg's. However, I'd be considered a traitor being in the position I'm in if caught riding them by my peers.:D HED is only 4 miles away from me, they might fire up the spoke cannons to take me out if they figure out I'm spying their wheels.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
I think this is right, maybe James Huang can confirm this... Tom Boonen (82kg) rides 36 hole for Roubaix, and 32 hole for RvV, not HED's though, he rolls Ambrosio Nemesis/DT 240's/Sapim spokes, as do more than 50% of the peloton during the first couple weeks of Spring.

Those C2 series of HED wheels are really nice for what they are, I'd say the best buy from any of the major wheel mfg's. However, I'd be considered a traitor being in the position I'm in if caught riding them by my peers.:D HED is only 4 miles away from me, they might fire up the spoke cannons to take me out if they figure out I'm spying their wheels.
When the spokes start flying at ballistic speeds keep your HED down! I agree that they are nice for "boutique" wheels (My first set of wheels that I did not build). That is not to justify my purchase (I did by the cheapest in the range knowing that they would be the stiffest and most robust (the down side being that they are less expensive and heavier by a insignificant amount :) )
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Bustedknuckle said:
Really glad you like them but as a 'wheelbuilder', easy to make a set that are very similar(except for the 23mm rim part) in terms of weight but with a better hubset, for less $. 6600 hubs, Kinlin rims, DT spokes...
Agree, my mate and I came up with the "thinking man's Ardennes" about 12 months ago - Sapim CX rays, CK/DT/other hubs + velocity synergys (23mm) and option of OCR. See:

http://www.velocitywheels.com/default.asp?contentID=563

Less $, can't remember weight comparisons but I think ours were slightly heavier. Exchange the synergys with the A23 as slumdog suggests will shave ~60g/wheel. Never ridden the Ardennes, but the above are sweet.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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recommendation clarification

Though I've been very nice to HED about the quality of their wheels, one thing that am at odds with is that their C2 'Classics' wheels are not truly meant for the real Classics. Basically, they are very good all around consumer race wheels that have cute Belgian names. 5 different versions of essentially the same wheel might be a little overkill, and you'll never see the pros using them at the hardcore battlegrounds of RvV or Roubaix, simply because they're all low spoke count clinchers.

I agree with the "thinking man's Ardennes", due to the simplicity of using a clincher rim. Still not a true Classics wheel though. If you're riding and racing on the rough stuff like pavé or gravel, the latter of which I do quite a bit, box section, eyletted tubulars are the way to go.
 
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